6 Apr 2015

Week 36 Athens

Elder Teal must have been too busy to take pictures this week ! So decided to take a couple while emailing today. His comment was "one and a half selfies" Only when we opened them did we understand what that meant.

"Hi everyone! I hope you've all had a good week! You've all been talking a lot about Easter in your emails, which is strange because we've not had it yet here. In the Orthodox calendar it's a week later this year, and it seems that church just follows with that, as nobody was saying Happy Easter yesterday at church, just talking about how it's coming up! I don't know if our church has an official date for when Easter is, or if we just follow the Western calendar as a course of tradition, but anyway, it's next week here!"

"Things are going great with Elder Burton, we're getting along really well and having a lot of fun. It's somewhat harder to be disciplined enough to speak 100% Greek now that I have an English-speaking companion, as some times I just want him to understand what i'm saying without it taking a while, or I want to make a joke that he'll understand. That's something that i need to improve on, as my Greek improved so much during my time with Elder Tornar because I used it literally all the time, and I want to do the same now. It will also help him to improve quickly, which he is doing already,"

"The highlight of the week would be our lesson with E. We also had lots of little highlights with some of the lovely people we talked to in the street, but I'd be here all day if I went into detail about each of those!"

"We had a lesson yesterday with E. whilst he was here at church, as it didn't make sense to teach Gospel Principles to just him about the Priesthood. Instead we changed the lesson and taught the Restoration. He knows it all already and knows it's true. We also had A. with us from the English branch, and he has such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon which really brought the spirit into the lesson. It was also the first time I've heard the sound mmm mmmm (like for food) used to describe the Book of Mormon, he's a funny guy."

"E. loved church, he said it was everything he was expecting and more. In Priesthood he was asked to introduce himself, and proceeded to bear his testimony of the church, the living prophet, the restoration and his desire to serve in the church. I think people were a little shocked, it was great, especially when I made eye contact with Elder Klestrup who was translating for Elder Perry, as he almost couldn't believe what he was translating haha!"

This is really exciting for us at home, as I have become friends over that last months with E. and we chat each week via Facebook. This week was the first time he has been able to attend church. We wrote a joint blog post with E. a few weeks ago that can be found HERE

Talking about Temples.

"I really took it for granted before my mission how close the temple is. I loved going, and every time wanted to go again straight away, but after seeing the sacrifices that people here have to make to get to the temple, my appreciation of it has increased so much. I remember at the MTC when we went at the same time every week, we would always see some of the regulars that were there doing a session at the same time as us. I want to be one of those people after my mission, and go as often as I can! And it's great that we can go there just to enjoy the gardens and the spirit of the place as well!"

Each week Elder Teal sends us a picture of each page of his journal. He knows we use selected items to include here, but they are not written with that intention, they are more of a direct look into the life of a missionary.

"... we talked to a lot of nice people, including one man who didn't want to talk to us in the beginning, but warmed to us, and said. 'you can tell just by looking at your faces that you just want to do good, without gaining anything from it.' He also said that we should give his congratulations and greetings to our parents, for raising such good children, which was nice of him"

".. I sat outside in the sun and learnt some words. My vocabulary is quite big now, I'm not sure how many words even approximately, but there are still tens or hundreds of thousands that I don't know, mainly because Greek has so many more words than English in general. 
For example the verb which means, I hum a tune" 

"For our evening meal we had pasta with creamy sauce. Although when we came to make the sauce we discovered it was sweet cream for cakes, not normal cooking cream. 
We made it anyway, and it wasn't nice"

In other news

This Easter weekend has been the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints Semi Annual General Conference. Every April and October the church gathers to listen and be instructed by the Prophet and Apostles. In Salt Lake a 20,000 seat conference centre, built by the church for such events is full for every session. Around the world members gather in churches to watch conference via internet and satellite feeds. It can also be watched in your home via the Internet.

Click to enlarge
We attended several 2 hour conference session, this talk was one of my favourites. The speaker is President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, one of the Prophets two councilors.

Watch more HERE

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